Members of the Taylor Spring Park Committee, charged with raising funds and engineering the construction of the historic community park at the birthplace of the city of Cleveland, is making …
Members of the Taylor Spring Park Committee, charged with raising funds and engineering the construction of the historic community park at the birthplace of the city of Cleveland, is making preliminary plans for a kickoff fundraiser which is being billed as one of the showplace social events of the year.
The park committee met Tuesday afternoon in the offices of Jones Management in The Village Green, going over some of these preliminary plans for the kickoff event,
The fundraiser is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at the home of Cleveland businessman, historian and entrepreneur Allan Jones and his wife, Janie. The gala event will kick off the committee’s effort to raise around $250,000 for the construction of the downtown park. The social will be an RSVP affair.
The Joneses are opening their home to invitees at 450 Anatole Lane N.W., off North Lee Highway.
There will be a short program at the fundraiser. There will also be posters of the tentative design of the new city park, drawn by University of Tennessee students, and information about the history of the area where the park will be located.
An added incentive will be the appearance of author Michael T. Slaughter, who wrote the book “Andrew Taylor: Man of Mystery.” Slaughter will be selling signed copies of his book.
Taylor Spring, or Taylor Place as it was known when the Cleveland area was first settled, is believed to be where early settlers came to live in Cleveland during its infancy. Several families lived around the spring.
Members of the Taylor Spring Park Committee include Jones, former Bradley County Commissioner Jeff Morelock, Cleveland Council member Richard Banks, Cleveland historian Bob George, and Cleveland Public Works Supervisor Tommy Myers.
Several others will be assisting with the park project, and most attended Tuesday’s meeting.
They include Dee Burris, a local contractor and chairman of the Cleveland Planning Commission. Burris is volunteering his time and expertise in getting the design of the park completed.
Also attending the meeting was Dennis Black, a local contractor who is expected to be in charge of all the concrete work, Toby Pendergrass of Jones Management, City Manager Joe Fivas and Assistant City Manager Shawn McKay.
Spearheading the committee’s fundraising effort will be Cathy Barrett, president of the Community Foundation. Barrett and her organization were instrumental in raising funds for the Cleveland Dog Park, and much of that effort and information will be used in the ongoing campaign to raise monies for the iconic city park.
Taylor Spring is located on 1st Street, halfway between the Bradley County Courthouse and The Village Green center to the west — at the Keith Street/Inman Street intersection.
The longtime spring was covered up for years by the former law offices of the late James Webb. Webb donated the property to the city of Cleveland before he died, and the city purchased an adjacent tract.
Jones then purchased a third parcel to the west of the spring, which he in turn donated to the city. This parcel will be used for park construction vehicles during the work phase, and is proposed for entrance and exit sites at the park when it is completed.
Most of Tuesday’s committee meeting was used to discuss plans for the kickoff fundraiser.
A tentative design for the invitation to the fundraiser was circulated, and Burris discussed the potential sale of engraved paver bricks and other items such as benches, trees, and recognition items which will be used in the construction of the park.
A definite cost of these items has not yet been determined, but they will probably be about the same as for the Cleveland Dog Park.
Barrett’s list of dog park items included engraved bricks at a $125 suggested price, trees with a plaque, $1,000; plaques next to a bench, $2,000; and sponsorships in varying amounts: Bronze-$2,500, Silver-$5,000, Gold-$7,500, Platinum-$1,000, and Diamond-$25,000.
It was discussed that the benches being offered at Taylor Spring Park will be much more formidable than those at the dog park, and should probably be listed at a higher cost — perhaps $3,000.
Another possible item will be recognition medallions for major sponsors, which will probably be placed in construction concrete such as at the dog park.
It was also suggested that a fee of $100 be charged for attendance to the Feb. 14 fundraiser, and Banks said the committee could also decide to provide a brick to those attendees. “Several may want more than one brick,” said Banks.
Burris and the committee are making preliminary plans to purchase several hundred bricks for use in the new city park’s construction, and Jones anticipates this effort will be well received since the engraved bricks will be a part of a permanent historical park.
The bricks can be used as a memorial to your children, parents or grandparents, grandchildren, or any other family members or even a friend.
Jones told a story of when the downtown Cleveland YMCA was built in 1962. He said his father purchased two bricks, one for his sisters and the second for him. He emphasized that his brick is still there, and is something of which he continues to be proud. He believes they will sell many more bricks for Taylor Spring Park than they did for the dog park.
Jones is also excited about the offerings of a tree and plaque, and the inscribed benches. “These benches are heavy, and should last for 1,000 years,” he said.
Additional meetings will be scheduled before the fundraising kickoff, and committee members are hoping construction of the new park can begin later this year.
Fivas suggested design plans for the new park include some of the history of the city and the region. He feels it should include significant eras of the community’s growth, from the first use of Taylor Spring to modern-day times, with information about some of the people who have contributed to that growth.
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